Sunday, July 26, 2015


Carl Gustav Jung would be 140 years old today.  I am truly grateful to this man who has changed my life for the better through his ideas and theories.  The more I learn about his process of individuation, his explanation for many of the quirks of personality, his willingness to be merely human, his notions of process theology, the more I admire the man.  Truly, he has left us a great treasure which will take centuries to discover and unpack.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Jung Society of St. Louis

For those of you interested in Jungian Psychology, an excellent way to expand your understanding and meet like-minded folk is membership in a local Jung Society.  Following is a summary report of programs of our society in St. Louis:

The Jung Society St. Louis Society hosts a major Midwest Jung in the Heartland Conference every other year (September 10-13 in 2015).  The upcoming conference theme is “The Altar of the Earth,” and will include an art show that focuses on that theme.

The Society also sponsors lectures and workshops by major Jungian Analysts and scholars, provides a host of study groups led by local analysts and others well versed in Jungian studies, presents authors’ evenings for Society members who have published on topics of Jungian Psychology, offers film nights, and various other social events of interest to members.

Biennially the Society sponsors a writing contest (with the theme of the next year’s conference and focused on topics of Jungian Psychology) that draws global-wide entries.  The Society publishes winning contest entries in a book, and invited authors read and discuss their winning essays during the conference.

A current project for the Society is the production of a humorous yet serious play about the process of individuation in the life of a woman.  The dramatist is a writer and former board member of the Society.   Plans are underway to present this play live in several performances and to videotape it to offer on DVD.

Lectures by Jungian analysts and scholars are videotaped and are available on DVD.  Audio recordings of the lectures are available on CD.  Jane Wilson, a long-time board member, interviews major speakers for the Society.  Those interviews are now part of the Society’s Video/Audio library and will soon be available in a collection.  Interviewees include James Hollis, Lionel Corbett, Murray Stein, Jean Shinoda-Bolen, Donald Kalsched, Monika Wikman, Gary Sparks, Mary Dougherty, Ken James, et. al.

The Society’s offerings are underwritten by subscribing members and generous donors so that all programs are more affordable for everyone.

For more information or to purchase program DVD’s, CD’s, and books, visit  To receive the St. Louis Jung Society Newsletter, e-mail

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Amazon Smile


The nonprofit Jung Society of St. Louis is eligible for the Amazon Smile program.  You can support the Society by simply clicking on the Amazon Smile link that is in the center of the page on the Society’s website at  We suggest you set up your own bookmark through our link.  That is all you need to do.  With every eligible purchase you make, Amazon will make a small donation to the Society.

Our Jung Society is dedicated to getting information our Jung's ideas into the wider culture.  You can help.  Thank you!

Sunday, July 05, 2015

FW: Jung in the Heartland: The Altar of the Earth

The C.G. Jung Society of Saint Louis

Click on the link below to....

Register Now
Early Bird Deadline
Ends in 1 Week
 July 8!!

 Jung in the Heartland:
The Altar of the Earth 


Monika Wikman, Ph.D.


Belden Lane, Ph.D.


Mary Ryan, M.S.


September 10 - 13, 2015
King's House Retreat Center
Belleville, IL




The C.G. Jung Society of Saint Louis
P.O. Box 11724
Saint Louis, Missouri 63105

Thursday, June 11, 2015


The charter for the C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis is to educate the public about the helpful ideas and theories of C. G. Jung.  Jungian Psychology is a practical, concrete way toward a richer, more fulfilling existence.  Education about Jung's ideas can be extremely rewarding.  One approach is reading and studying either Jung's own works or those of people who follow and disseminate his work.

If you wish to explore Jungian Psychology and support the St. Louis Jung Society, you can do both by ordering books, CD's, DVD's on the St. Louis Society website OR by clicking on a link on the website to for an array of resources.  Accessing through the St. Louis Society website will result in a small donation to the Society.

The works of June Singer (especially Boundaries of the Soul) and of Murray Stein are excellent ways to start or expand your understanding.

Please visit

Saturday, May 23, 2015


The older I grow, the more it seems to me there is a scheduler working behind the scenes to arrange events into an orderly pattern.  The image that comes to me is that of iron filings moving into a beautiful symmetrical pattern as a magnet is brought near.  Too near and without some protective layer between them and the magnet, the filings lose all shape and merely jump onto the magnet in chaos.  So it seems for us and the events of our lives in relation to the magnetic power that operates behind a thin separating layer.   Only when we have amassed a great number of disparate and seemingly unrelated bits as well as an ability to view those bits somewhat dispassionately, can we discern the developing pattern.  And a beautiful pattern it is!

A problem I have had with religious dogma for a very long time is that it provides a pattern that may or may not fit our own lives.  Fixated on dogma, we may be in danger of missing what is our own uniqueness.  When the dogma fits, all is well.  When it does not, my guess is the process of alignment goes on unconsciously so that we never see it and, hence, cannot learn to cooperate with it.

The I CHING puts it this way (paraphrased):  One must find one's way in the skein of being.

Friday, May 01, 2015



2015 Jung in the Heartland Conference Speakers and Program Set:
“The Altar of the Earth” at King’s House Retreat Center
 - Registration is now open - 
Click here for details and to take advantage of Early Bird pricing!
     The 2015 conference, “Jung in the Heartland: The Altar of the Earth,” will include three outstanding speakers. Monika Wikman will return, augmented by Belden Lane, an expert in green theology, and Mary Ryan, a psychotherapist who is familiar to many members for her engaging presentations. The conference will be held September 10-13 at King’s House Retreat Center, in Belleville, IL. The return to this location again offers comfortable spaces, private rooms, excellent meals, and the opportunity for establishing
     Monika Wikman, Ph.D., is a Jungian analyst and astrologer who lives near Santa Fe. She is the author of Pregnant Darkness, in which she shows readers that the best way to cope with their darkest times is by fostering a connection to the deeper current of life. Among her conference topics are “Open Your Eyes and Arrive in the World” and “Emily Carr: the Light in Nature.”
     Belden C. Lane, Ph.D., was Professor of Theological Studies, American Religion, and History of Spirituality at Saint Louis University, now retired, and is the author of four books. A theologian, he once found himself delightfully introduced as a Presbyterian minister teaching at a Roman Catholic university telling Jewish stories at the Vedanta Society. His latest book is Backpacking with the Saints. He is also the author of The Solace of Fierce Landscapes: Exploring Desert and Mountain Spirituality. Dr. Lane’s conference topics include The Four Elements in Life Stages” and “First Great Conversations.”
     Mary Ryan, M.S., has been a psychotherapist for nearly 30 years with a private practice in Springfield, IL and Jacksonville, IL. She is an adjunct professor at Benedictine University and faculty member for the Academy of Addiction Treatment Professionals. One of her conference topics will be “What’s on Your Altar?”
     Jung Society essay contest winners on the topic, “Honoring the Altar of the Earth,” will be invited to read their work at a Saturday evening author’s night reception. Further information on the conference program and cost will be available in the Spring.
      Early bird conference rates will apply until July 8. Participants must be members of the C.G. Jung Society of St. Louis at the time of the conference in order to enjoy Friends’ lower registration rate.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


For a very long time I have puzzled over the question of the meaning of dream symbols, themes and motifs.  Why do they so frequently befuddle and confuse?  Why my inability to understand, to find meaning in them?  The temptation always is to find meaning that agrees with my assumptions and worldview.  Often when I do, I discover belatedly that I was wrong.

It seems one of the primary functions of dreams is to befuddle and confuse consciousness, and by doing so to call into question established assumptions and a fixed worldview.  The result of constant bewildering input from dreams, often highly irrational and nonsensical in their very nature, is to open consciousness to real life.  And much of real life (whatever that mysterious things is) is highly irrational and nonsensical, often most uncomfortable for consciousness to accept.

I just finished a most entertaining and interesting book, The Rosie Project.  The author creates a main character, Don, with an extremely rigid and different consciousness.  As the story unfolds, the reader gets glimpses into the telos underlying Don's consciousness.  Much to ponder in this little book.  

Sunday, March 15, 2015


The C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis is now offering video and audio recordings of Donald Kalsched's recent lecture before a St. Louis audience.  The quality of the recordings is excellent.  Dr. Kalsched's understanding of trauma and approaches to healing trauma is profound.  The video recording will make an excellent teaching tool for people interested in the diagnosis and treatment of traumatic injury.  Go to for more detail or to order.

Friday, January 30, 2015


For people interested in the psychological and emotional effects of trauma, the work of Donald Kalsched, Ph.D., Jungian Psychoanalyst, is of particular interest.  Dr. Kalsched will be presenting in St. Louis, MO, on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, February 13, 14, and 15, 2015.  For detailed information about this event or to register, please visit

Sunday, December 28, 2014

C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis Winter-Spring, 2015, Lectures, Workshops, Authors' Evenings, and Study Groups

The C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis has packed the coming months with interesting, informative, even compelling programs.  The first is a Shamanic Workshop with Carol Haake and Robin DeGraff on January 17.  In February, Donald Kalsched, world-renowned analyst and teacher on issues of trauma and depression, will offer a lecture, workshop, and colloquium on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, February 13, 14, 15.  For detailed information or to register, visit  

There is also information on the website about the winning essays in the recently concluded writing contest.  And there is information about the 2015 Jung in the Heartland--The Altar of the Earth.  Early-bird registration will be available in the Spring.  The Society expects the conference to sell out so early registration not only will save you money, it will guarantee you a place at the conference.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

The Gift of Consciousness

If you are casting about for an unusual but intriguing gift for a friend or loved one, do consider the gift of consciousness.  The C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis has a number of superb programs which are available on DVD or CD.  Some of the programs are of an introductory level to Jungian Psychology; others are more nuanced and expand upon some of Jung's original ideas.  The quality of the recordings is excellent.  You can see trailers and order various ones at  Order now to receive one or more in time for Christmas.

On the Topic of Wholeness

Here is the quote from Morris West's novel, Shoes of the Fisherman, that I used in my December 5 presentation for the Jung Society of St. Louis.  The audience particularly liked this quote so I am posting it here for those interested:

“Yesterday I met a whole person. It is a rare experience, but always an illuminating and ennobling one. It costs so much to be a full human being that there are very few who have the enlightenment, or the courage, to pay the price… One has to abandon altogether the search for security, and reach out to the risk of living with both arms. One has to embrace the world like a lover, and yet demand no easy return on love. One has to accept pain as a condition of existence. One has to court doubt and darkness as the cost of knowing. One needs a will stubborn in conflict, yet open always to the total acceptance of every consequence of living and dying.”

Sunday, December 07, 2014


In my presentation, "The Jungian View of Wholeness," for the C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis on Friday, December 5, 2014, I mentioned three books that provide a fine introduction to Jungian Psychology.  Those books are Boundaries of the Soul, by June Singer; The Tao of Psychology by Jean Shinoda Bolen; and In Midlife: A Jungian Perspective by Murray Stein.

The St. Louis Jung Society has captured many of its wonderful programs on audio and video.  CD's and DVD's are available for order on the Society's website at    My December 5 lecture will be available for purchase soon.  

Sunday, November 23, 2014

DONALD KALSCHED IN ST. LOUIS - February 13-15, 2015

The C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis will host Donald Kalsched, Ph.D., on February 13-15, 2015.  Dr.  Kalsched will present a full weekend focusing on the psychological effects of trauma in a lecture on Friday evening, February 13; a workshop on Saturday, February 14; and a colloquium for clinicians on Sunday, February 15. Details for this weekend of events will be available in the Society's Winter/Spring 2015 Newsletter.

Dr. Kalsched is a Clinical Psychologist and Jungian Psychoanalyst in private practice in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is the author of two important works on psychological trauma, its effects, and its treatment: The Inner World of Trauma and Trauma and the Soul.

Additional information will be available on the Society's website as well as the opportunity to register in late December.  The website address is:

Friday, October 03, 2014

National Depression Screening Day

National Depression Screening Day is Thursday, October 9, 2014.  I will give a short talk, "Is there Value in Depression?" and lead a discussion about the facets of depression at Meramec Community College from 2:00 to 4:00 pm.  The event is open to the public and free of charge.  For more details, visit  

Saturday, September 27, 2014


The C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis offers many fine recordings, both audio and video, of past programs.  The quality of the recordings is excellent, as fine as you might see on network television, and the content includes superb explanations and elaborations of Jung's theories by leaders in the field.  Presenters include Jean Shinoda Bolen, Monika Wikman, Lionel Corbett, James Hollis, Mary Dougherty, Ken James, Leah Friedman, and myself.  Topics range from critical understanding of basic Jung's ideas to cutting edge theories that expand upon Jung's thinking.

For detailed information or to order, visit

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

JAMES HOLLIS IN ST. LOUIS - September 26 & 27, 2014

What is Myth? A Weekend with James Hollis, Ph.D.

Friday Evening Lecture
September 26, 2014 – 7 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
First Congregational Church UCC Picture of the Church
6501 Wydown Blvd., Clayton, MO, 63105 
Map it! 
Fee: Friends $20 / Full Time Students $12.50 / Others: $25 (2 CEUs)

Jung asked himself this question, “What is myth?”, and realized it was a question he could not answer. Can we answer it? In order to begin, we first have to understand what is meant by myth. Then, we need to consider what the question itself means. Why we even have to ask this question is yet another question. What is the cultural context in which we raise these questions? How do our personal journeys intersect with the climate of our time? Answers to these and other questions will be explored in Dr. Hollis’ presentation as he offers putative approaches to discovering our myth and challenges us to a more thoughtful engagement with our own personal “myth” and journey.

Saturday Workshop
September 27, 2014 – 9 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

First Congregational Church UCC Picture of the Church
6501 Wydown Blvd., Clayton, MO, 63105 
Map it! 

Fee: Friends $60 / Full Time Students $35.00 / Others $70 (4 CEUs)
A continental breakfast will be available at 8:45 A.M.

During the course of today’s program, Dr. Hollis will elaborate on the questions raised in his presentation on Friday evening, and provide even more questions in order to provoke participants into further personalizing the issues and answering the question, What is my myth? Please bring pad and pen on which to write and reflect.
James Hollis, PhD, is a Zurich-trained Jungian analyst in private practice in Houston, Texas. Internationally acclaimed analyst and author, Dr. Hollis is former Executive Director of the Jung Educational Center of Houston and professor of Jungian Studies at Saybrook University, San Francisco, California. Additionally, he is retired Senior Training Analyst for the InterRegional Society of Jungian Analysts, first Director of the Philadelphia Jung Institute, and President Emeritus of the Philemon Foundation. Among his many publications are numerous
articles and fourteen books (some of which have been translated into sixteen languages) including The Eden Project: In Search of the Magical Other; Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life; What Matters Most: Living a More Considered Life; The Middle Passage; and his most recent book, Hauntings: Dispelling the Ghosts Who Run Our Lives.

To Register, go to

Thursday, June 19, 2014



      Jung writes, “What is real is that which has real effects.”  In our rigid three-dimensional conscious constructs, we tend to define reality as that which is concrete and tangible, excluding anything of a spiritual nature.  Yet, the spiritual has real effects.  Even a cursory self-reflection will confirm the validity of Jung’s statement.  The spiritual is real.
     When I was growing up, it was the custom in our small Catholic community to pray the rosary as part of a funeral wake.  The effect on my young self was extreme boredom mixed with wonderment that adults behaved this way.  However, in thinking about this ritual as an adult, I can see the real effects of rote recitation and meditation on the mysteries of the rosary—the joyful, the sorrowful, and the glorious.  What human life hasn’t been touched by joy, sorrow, and glory?  What resonances are set up in the depths of the souls of the living?  What evokes the sacredness of life like those intoned prayers, drawing mourners into an unconscious unity of spirit?  Who knows what the effects were on those people around me?  On me?  Surely it had at least as much impact as an invisible wind rustling through trees.
     The psychological impact of formal prayer is that it tends to align consciousness with semi-conscious, established patterns that have served humankind well for a very long time.  For a consciousness mired in some less-than-healthy unconscious pattern, prayer can be a way of getting  “unstuck.”  The mysteries of the rosary are built on New Testament stories which recount the life story of one of the most developed personalities in human history, someone fully individuated, i.e., who completely realized both the human and the spiritual dimensions of existence.  
     For another example of invisible effects, consider gazing on a full moon.  Even thinking about the image of a full moon right now conjures up emotion, memory, awe, and mystery.  I rarely look at a full moon without wondering about peoples over millennia who saw this same sight, who relied on it to mark the passage of time, to know when to move or to harvest crops; who began to associate it with the cycle of a woman’s life and the mysterious absence of the cycle with an impending birth, to predict the movements of the tides, even eventually to know when to celebrate the Paschal Mystery itself.   What knowledge the spirit of the moon has imparted to humanity over the ages!  What knowledge does the physical world hold, awaiting a consciousness sufficiently capacious to apprehend it?
     If you haven’t seen the movie, “Moonstruck,” I urge you to rent and watch it.  It will awaken some spiritual awareness without ever touching on anything religious or dogmatic.  I would argue that we are all a bit moonstruck and it would do us well to recognize and celebrate it.
     Whenever anything intangible and haunting is evoked in us, whether it be in seeing the flag, in hearing a moving poem, in playing and replaying a song in our minds, in being visited by the memory of a deceased loved one, or in a thousand other ways in which a current experience ties us back to an old memory trace, we experience the movement of an invisible spirit. 

     A favorite poem of mine is “elegy” by W.S. Merwyn:

who would i tell it to

That simple sentence, sans capitalization or punctuation, always evokes such depth of emotion in me that I know it brings me into solidarity with every other human being who has grieved in ways beyond language or explanation.  Why is it that the Gerard Manley Hopkins’ opening line, “Margaret, are you grieving over goldengrove unleaving,” pops into my mind frequently and at odd times?  I can only conclude that there is some unseen but very real force at work in my being.  It is a force of some power, and it is arresting.
     Of course, in our romance-besotted modern life, no one among us would deny the effects of love or its life-changing, life-enhancing power.  Yet, few of us would identify love as a spirit, but in the truest sense of the word, it is spiritual.  And in the sense that Jung defines “real,” it is real.  “What I did for Love” is more than a lovely song; it is a testament to the power of love.  
     Jung was interested in the psychology of the human person and in the ways reality, seen and unseen, can call forth richness of experience and wholeness of personality.  Whether we approach the spiritual through a formal religion or through a religious, reverent attitude toward the people and the world within and around us matters little.  What is important, from a psychological point of view, is that we not neglect all of experience.  
     To live in a reality that consists only of things, one that must be explained by cause and effect is to live in a carved-out, desiccated existence.  To live in a world of things is to see and understand people and ourselves only as objects to be manipulated and managed.  To live in a strict cause-and-effect universe is to miss perhaps the largest parts of existence, the parts that respond to mythic patterns, the forces that, rather than pushing us from the past, are pulling us into the future. 
     It is a basic tenet of Analytical (Jungian) Psychology that we as conscious moderns have a responsibility to understand the spiritual forces that move us as best we can, learn to cooperate with those that are benevolent, and resist those that are not.  External authority, while important for civil living, can also lead us very much in undesirable directions if it is not reconciled with the individual spirits that inhabit all of us.     
     A careful reflection about spiritual forces leads me to conclude that there are a myriad of invisible agencies that have very real effects and that are shaping our lives, our relationships, and our actions in unknown and sometimes undesirable ways.  What our individual and collective futures become is, in no small part, of our own choosing and attitude toward the real.

Friday, June 13, 2014


For people interested in formal study of Jungian Psychology, the Jung Institute of Chicago offers an excellent program.  The program, meetings on weekends over a two-year period, has drawn participants from all parts of the U.S.  Feedback from graduates of the program has been universally positive.  The experience of downtown Chicago coupled with serious study of Jung is a refreshing change of pace for many.  Serious study of Jung is a fine way to tap into creative potentials.  The Chicago Program is truly re-creational in nature.

The Jungian Psychotherapy Program (JPP) and the Jungian Studies Program (JSP) are unique and dynamic two-year programs in Analytical Psychology offered by the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago. The Jungian Psychotherapy Program (JPP) offers licensed mental health and social service professionals an opportunity to enrich and deepen their work through didactic and experiential learning in Analytical Psychotherapy. The Jungian Studies Program (JSP) shares core curriculum with the JPP and offers professionals in other fields an opportunity to gain a comprehensive knowledge of analytical psychology to enrich and deepen their creative work.

These programs meet concurrently one weekend a month (October - June). A new two-year cycle begins October 2014 and the deadline for applications to the 2014 - 2016 program has been extended to July 1, 2014.

The JPP accepts psychologists, social workers, counselors, marriage and family therapists, physicians, and nurses. The JSP accepts allied professionals such as spiritual directors, chaplains, alternative health care providers, educators and artists. JSP students and JPP students participate in all aspects of the program together except where confidential clinical material is discussed. At those times, participants are divided into separate small process groups. Continuing education credits are available for JPP students.

The Institute website has more detailed information:

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Comments about the May 30-31 Jung Society Program on the topic of shadow

On May 30-31, the St. Louis Jung Society featured a weekend program, "The Shadow: Constriction, Transformation and Individuation, and Active Imagination: Dialogues Between Self and Shadow," by Chicago Analyst Mary Dougherty (MFA, ATR, NCPsyA).

The program was a fine Society offering and was well attended.  Ms. Dougherty focussed on the psychological development of the four main characters in the film, "The Piano."  Her insights were profound, and the workshop exercises she offered to participants on Saturday were all oriented toward understanding shadow and working to make it more conscious.

The video and audio recordings of Ms. Dougherty's Friday lecture will soon be available at

Ms. Dougherty will be presenting for the Chicago Jung Institute in the Summer Intensive at the Institute.  For details go to

The St. Louis Society will host James Hollis again in September.  Visit for more information or to register.

Thursday, May 29, 2014


The Shadow: Constriction, Transformation and Individuation,
and Active Imagination: Dialogues Between Self and Shadow
Mary Dougherty, MFA, ATR, NCPsyA

Lecture - May 30, 2014 (Prerequisite: View “The Piano,” a film by Jane Campion)
Friday, 7:00 to 9:00 PM
First Congregational Church UCC Picture of the Church
6501 Wydown Blvd., Clayton, MO, 63105 Map it!

Fee: Friends $15 / Others: $20 / Students: $10 / 2 CEUs

Workshop - May 31, 2014 (Prerequisite: View “The Piano,” a film by Jane Campion)
Saturday, 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
First Congregational Church UCC Picture of the Church
6501 Wydown Blvd., Clayton, MO, 63105 Map it!

Fee: Friends $40 / Others: $50 / Students: $25 / 4 CEUs

For additional information or to register, visit

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

David Brooks Column in Today's NYTIMES

Here is the link to David Brooks' second article about important books in his life.  It is an interesting read and cause for reflection:

C. G. Jung is my favorite author.  Two of his essays have been profoundly influential in my thinking and development.  One is his "Commentary on the Secret of the Golden Flower."  The other is his "Introduction to the I CHING."  Both have been pivotal (meaning they changed the direction) in my life.

Monday, April 28, 2014


Details about this year's writing contest are now available at  

The theme of this contest is "Altars of the Earth."  The contest is a lead-up to the Society's 2015 Conference which will have the same theme.  Final selections will be published in a book that will be available prior to the conference.

Thursday, April 24, 2014



Lecture - April 25, 2014
Friday, 7:00 to 9:00 PM
First Congregational Church UCC Picture of the Church
6501 Wydown Blvd., Clayton, MO, 63105 Map it!

Fee: Friends $15 / Others: $20 / Students: $10/ 2 CEUs

Workshop - April 26, 2014
Saturday, 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
First Congregational Church UCC Picture of the Church
6501 Wydown Blvd., Clayton, MO, 63105 Map it!

Fee: Friends $40 / Others: $50 / Students: $25/ 4 CEUs

This program will explore the dimensions of luck, fate and hazard in human experience. The work of Jung and the Jungian community will be used to elucidate these three dimensions, and an intensive consideration of the role of consciousness as a balancing dimension will also be provided. Friday’s lecture will cover the topics of luck, fate, hazard and consciousness broadly. Saturday’s workshop will involve a close reading of Jung’s ideas about these phenomena and how they relate to individuation. The workshop will involve both small and large group discussion, and participants will deepen their understanding of the importance of consciousness as an ally on the path of individuation.

Ken James, Ph.D. is a Jungian analyst in private practice in Chicago. He is a member of the Chicago Society of Jungian Analysts, serving as an instructor in the Analyst Training Program and the Clinical Training Program, as well as offering courses through C.G. Jung Institute in Chicago, Common Ground in Deerfield, and the C.G. Jung Center in Evanston. Ken
has taught internationally on Jungian topics.

To register, go to

Friday, April 11, 2014

WRITING CONTEST - C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis

Our local Jung Society is about to announce the third writing contest.  The theme this year is "Altars of the Earth," the same theme as the Jung in the Heartland Conference--2015.  For information about the first two contests (and Conferences on the same themes) or to purchase the books of the winning essays, go to the Society website at  Updated information about the 2014 contest will be available soon on the website.  I will also post it here.  

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Jung's AION

In our St. Louis Jung Society Study Group, we are reading Edward Edinger's Lectures on Jung's AION, one of Jung's most obscure and difficult works.  Edinger argues that Jung, after his serious health crisis, began writing in a very different style.  He no longer cared about making his ideas accessible.  Rather, he wrote in the way the material came to him, the way he understood it.

In THE RED BOOK Jung describes an encounter with a wisdom figure who counsels him to understand the nature of gold and to "be like gold."  Gold waits to be discovered, never changes its essential nature, remains true whatever the circumstances in which it finds itself.  Above all, gold is of the highest value and has been long sought by humankind.

There are nuggets of gold in AION.  Retrieving them takes much effort and patience, but the effort does pay off.  I come away from our study group meetings with the impression that not understanding much of our text well might actually be a good thing, for it parallels our experience of many things in our lives about which we only have hints and glimmers.  One of the lessons I am learning is that there are enough nuggets of pure gold in AION (and in my own life) to keep me digging in a reverential manner.

Friday, January 31, 2014


I have no idea how ads make their way onto this blog.  However, after seeing one about Senator Ted Cruz (Republican Senator from Texas), I feel compelled to write something about my political beliefs.  First, I am a proud "tax and spend" liberal.  I find it obscene that a few people in this country and on this planet hoard riches while literally billions of people lack the basic necessities of life.  A terrible part of this imbalance is that far too few people find the imbalance just plain wrong.

The lesson of the "loaves and fishes" at one level is simple:  there is plenty for everyone IF some don't hoard.  Republicans in recent decades have aligned themselves and their party with the wealthiest among us.  Republicans have used "principles" to make their alliance with the wealthy a "principled" one.  There is another basic Christian message yet to be applied by this group of people.  Substitute principle for sabbath, and the lesson becomes simple enough that even those held to the Grover Norquist pledge of "No New Taxes, Ever!" can understand it.

Principles aligned with truth and compassion serve as a wheel that carries one into the world to live a creative and satisfying life.  Principles aligned with greed and power tie one to a spinning wheel of ups and downs.  One is dragged along by events that create winners and losers.  Staying on top becomes more and more difficult and requires greater and greater resources of power and money. The one thing absolutely unaffordable to these individuals is empathy.  These "principled" people seem not to realize they are going nowhere.  To win is to keep the wheel static; those on top remain on top; those on the bottom, cannot move.  The result:  A terribly static, sterile, lifeless situation.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis - Winter/Spring Newsletter

The latest newsletter from the Jung Society of St. Louis with detailed information about winter/spring 2014 programs is available now online at

I am facilitating a study group about Jung's work AION on Sunday afternoons.  Details are available on the website.  For additional information or if you have questions, please e-mail me at   AION is one of Jung's most challenging works.  Entering into it and discussion with others about it promises to yield fruitful results.

Sunday, December 08, 2013


The local Jung Society has a large collection of video and audio recordings of past programs.  The quality of the recordings is superb.  Speakers include James Hollis, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Lionel Corbett, Ken James, Monika Wikman, Gary Sparks, Leah Friedman, Laurence Hillman, and myself.  The topics are wide-ranging, covering many facets of Jungian Psychology.

The gift of Jungian understanding is a unique one.  It is the gift of the possibility for self-creation, for the enlargement of consciousness, for enhancing one's personality, and for creating a more harmonious consciousness.  There are short "trailers" for many of the video recordings that give a flavor of the material presented.

The Jung Society Holiday Offering includes both reduced pricing and free shipping.

Go to for additional information or to order.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Jung in the Hearland Conference - Healing Through the Numinous

There are a number of photographs taken during the recent Jung in the Heartland Conference, now posted on the St. Louis Jung Society website.  Go to and click on the tab "recent events" to view the photos.  During the group labyrinth walk, a blue orb appeared in the center of the labyrinth, visible only in the photos.  It is extremely interesting.  A similar blue orb appeared in photos from the 2011 Jung in the Heartland Conference.  Spirit is alive and well in these events!

Planning is underway for the 2014 writing contest and for the 2015 conference.  The C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis will be announcing the theme for the two events.  If you have suggestions, please send them to the Society via the e-mail address on the Society website.  If you wish to purchase a collection of the 2010 and 2012 winning essays, you may do so on the website.

Events sponsored by the St. Louis Society, a non-profit organization, are underwritten by Friends of the Society and by donations.  Scholarships are available for Society events.  See the website for additional information.

I will be facilitating a Reading Group in the winter/spring of 2014.  Participants will read and discuss C. G. Jung's AION, one of his most intriguing and, yes, difficult works.  Detailed information will be available here and on the Society website.  If you have questions or would like additional information about the reading group, please e-mail me:



In our development, we recapitulate 
the issue of our times.

     In a recent writing group, the facilitator assigned the task of writing about the influence of broader collective trends on our individual development.  When she talked about the assignment, one word leapt to my mind—Sputnik. In thinking about this topic, however, I had to enlarge her instructions to include a significant personal influence that opened the door to a larger collective one.
First, the personal influence.  When I was an adolescent I was particularly susceptible to authority.  One person who embodied authority for me was my high school plane geometry teacher, Miss Story.  On the first day of class, Miss Story explained that plane geometry was a subject that would teach itself to you; all you had to do was wait for it to show you the way.  For me, an extremely near-sighted, introverted, and troubled teen, her words might as well have been written on stone tablets on Mount Sinai.  Plane geometry taught itself to me, and I excelled at it.
The next year the Soviets launched the first Sputnik satellite, an achievement that stunned the world.  Few could imagine how the United States had fallen so far behind in technology.  A rallying cry went up across the land:  Grab all the young people you can find who are good at science and math and train them.
My personal world and the larger world intersected at that time.  Never mind that my interests lay in literature.  Never mind that higher forms of math failed to teach themselves to me.   In fact, never mind ANYTHING else; the larger interests must be served.   It was decades before I learned--painfully and often at odds with collective values like money and position--that what is important is the direction and flow of my little life force, that only in them are larger interests truly served.
Events of the late 50’s and early 60’s contorted me into a misshapen young adult.  Influential figures, both in my little world of high school and in college delivered the same message:  It doesn’t matter what is important to you.  And lacking personal authority, I colluded with them.
In looking back on these events decades later, I can see that new, powerful currents were set in motion then that were at odds with long-standing cultural values.  Young girls were supposed to marry, achieve marital bliss, have children, and keep a good house.  How could I excel in math and science AND do all that too?  Oh, the confusion of it all, the utterly impossible demands.  Some how I muddled through, perhaps am even better off for having done so.
I can see clearly now that the current cultural message to young women is as stupidly unnatural and unlivable as it was 50 years ago.  Today’s demand on young women?  You can still do it all.
There is a lot to be said for growing old.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Healing Through the Numinous - Companion Essay to Jung in the Heartland Conference


“The approach to the numinous is the real therapy,
and inasmuch as you attain to numinous experiences,
you are released from the curse of pathology.”   C.G. Jung

I have long been interested in Jung’s work, especially as it relates to healing the personality, my own and that of others.  We live in a culture in which “personality” is often equated with ego and the ego equated with personhood.  Jung amply demonstrated that there is potentially a good deal more to the personality than simply one’s ego and one’s ego self-image.  
For someone identified with the ego, that is, someone who believes he/she is the sum total of the ego’s understanding, alienation is a necessary condition.  You might ask, alienation from what?  Jung’s answer is alienation from the collective heritage of humankind, from the healing balm of unconscious processes and contents that seek to enliven and enrich the ego but cannot find a welcoming window in the ego structure.
The first step for the person isolated in the ego shell is to posit the existence of the unconscious and its healing factors.  [The enormous success of the Alcoholics Anonymous movement rests on this supposition. Interestingly enough, Jung’s work was instrumental in the origins of AA.]
  The usual condition of the alienated ego is suffering, the natural consequence of the individual encountering a situation for which the coping mechanisms of the ego are inadequate. Such a situation brings enormous dissonance and disillusionment with it—anguish, disorientation, suffering, and depression--sometimes accompanied by physical illness.  Common expressions for this experience are “midlife crisis” and “nervous breakdown.” There are myriad symptoms that accompany this condition. Common responses are prescription drugs, alcohol, busyness, exercise, shopping, etc; all serving the purpose of distraction, repression, and reduced suffering.
If the individual has a religious orientation with beliefs, dogma, and images sufficient to connect the ego with the deeper strata of human existence, that is, with the healing balm of unconscious processes, all will eventually go well.  Through scriptural stories, ritual, sacramental acts, and community, he/she will receive the blessings humankind has long relied upon religion to facilitate and will weather the crisis. The individual is graced.  Blessings and grace are old-fashioned words that fit well a certain psychological state that is experienced as the end of alienation.
However, if the individual has a remote connection with religion or none at all, the window to the healing effects of the unconscious is not only closed, it cannot even be imagined.  Blessings and grace are foreign concepts. For these people Jung’s approach to psychology can be life saving.  
Jung discovered that there are very important “nuclear processes” in the unconscious—actual images of the goal (the goal being the union of the ego with these unconscious processes), which can appear in dreams or fantasies.  These images appear when there is a certain condition of ego need, a sort of hunger.  Of course, the ego seeks familiar and favorite dishes, unable to imagine some outlandish food unknown to it.  What the individual experiences is a longing but a longing for which there is no object.  Nothing satisfies.  An old Peggy Lee song, “Is That All There Is?”, well describes this experience.
Jung writes about this occurrence:  "The goal which beckons to this psychic need, the image which promises to heal, to make whole, is at first strange beyond all measure to the conscious mind, so that it can find entry only with the very greatest difficulty."  Entry and servings of “outlandish food,” come through the numinous.  The ego is confronted with numinous experience that is awe-inspiring and naturally demanding of attention.
Addressing the key role of religion to provide healing, Jung goes on: 
"Of course it is quite different for people who live in a time and environment when such images of the goal have dogmatic validity.  These images are then eo ipso held up to consciousness, and the unconscious is thus shown its own secret reflection, in which it recognizes itself and so joins forces with the conscious (ego) mind."
  Jung is speaking here of the symbol systems, imagery, mythology, etc., that are effective as bridges between the ego and the unconscious.  That is why the Catholic Mass, Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, sacred rituals of world religions, Hasidic story, parables, astrology, etc., work so effectively for so many people.  These methodologies allow the unconscious, in "its own secret reflection" to be recognized by the individual ego so that the two can be joined in a unity.  Jung called that unity "individuation."  
In the numinous experience, the ego encounters a reality incomprehensible to it, a power far greater than itself.  The relativizing effect on the ego can also release the individual from impossible responsibilities and overwhelming feelings of inadequacy. Humankind throughout history has always left certain life tasks to the gods.  Where there are no gods, the individual feels compelled to fill the role, and a stressful role it is.  
Jungian Psychology, then, is uniquely suited for those people who cannot find a comfortable home in any religious tradition.  People who study Jung’s ideas, who gather to hear presentations on various facets of his work, or who enter deeply into Jungian psychoanalysis have discovered the psychological path to healing of the personality.  The meandering path of individuation, the cooperative dance of ego individuality and unconscious processes, is enormously enriching.  In this dance the healing effects so many of us seek today are revealed and actualized. 

Jung in the Heartland Conference - Healing Through the Numinous

The C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis held its third major Heartland Conference September 5-8, 2013, at King's House Retreat Center in Belleville, IL.  The conference was a huge success.   Jean Bolen, Monika Wikman, and Laurence Hillman, speakers at the event, presented variations on the topic of healing--physical, emotional, and psychological healing.  Leah Friedman opened the conference on Thursday evening with a ritual during which each attendee introduced him/herself.  Dr. Friedman also closed the ritual at noon on Sunday.  Additionally, the three winning entries in the writing contest on the same theme, healing through the numinous, read their essays during the Authors' Evening on Saturday.  The Society has published a book of the best contest entries which is available for order on the Society website,

The major presentations were videotaped.  Both video and audio of the presentations will be available for purchase soon.  Go to for more information.

Planning is underway for the next writing contest to be held in 2014 and for the next conference scheduled for the Fall of 2015.  Information will be available on the website soon.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

JUNG IN THE HEARTLAND CONFERENCE - Healing through the Numinous

I want to alert you again to the upcoming (September 5-8, 2013) third “Jung in the Heartland” Conference, offered by the C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis.  Those of you who attended either of the first two (2009 and 2011) know what a wonderful experience each one was.  The 2013 conference builds on the huge successes of the first two.  The 2013 conference theme is "Healing through the Numinous."  It will be held at King's House Retreat Center in Belleville, IL, near the St. Louis, MO, metropolitan area.

Presenters will be Jean Shinoda Bolen, Monica Wikman, and Laurence Hillman.  Details and registration information are on the Society’s website,   A special feature of the conference will be the winners of the 2012 writing contest on the same theme presenting their essays

We expect the Conference to be sold out.  The event is underwritten by Society donors, so the cost of attending is extremely reasonable.  If you plan to attend, please register early.

The conference brochures (cover shown below) will be mailed next week.  The Jung quote is one of my favorites, and contains a message of importance for all therapeutic approaches, indeed for all relationships.  [The link named in the brochure is]

Saturday, April 27, 2013

"Healing through the Numinous," JUNG IN THE HEARTLAND Conference - September 5-8, 2013

I want to alert you to the upcoming (September 5-8, 2013) third “Jung in the Heartland” Conference, offered by the C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis.  Those of you who attended either of the first two (2009 and 2011) know what a wonderful experience each one was.  The 2013 conference builds on the huge successes of the first two.  The 2013 conference theme is "Healing through the Numinous."  It will be held at King's House Retreat Center in Belleville, IL, near the St. Louis, MO, metropolitan area.

Presenters will be Jean Shinoda Bolen, Monica Wikman, and Laurence Hillman.  Details and registration information are on the Society’s website,   A special feature of the conference will be the winners of the 2012 writing contest on the same theme presenting their essays

We expect the Conference to be sold out.  The event is underwritten by Society donors, so the cost of attending is extremely reasonable.  If you plan to attend, please register early.  

Saturday, February 16, 2013


The C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis has a number of video recordings of presentations by Jungian Analysts available for sale.  The recordings, available either by streaming from the internet or on DVD, are of outstanding quality.  The Society has sponsored major presentations by Robert Bosnak, Lionel Corbett, Laurence Hillman, James Hollis, Ken James, Leah Friedman, and myself on various facets of Jungian Psychology.  To see trailers of the videos or to purchase, go to and click on the audio/video recordings tab.

James Hollis presented a major lecture,  "Stories Told, Stories Untold; Stories that tell us" on January 18, 2013.  That recording will soon be available on the website.

[Disclosure:  I serve as analyst advisor to the Board of the C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis.]

Monday, January 07, 2013


Reading Jung -- Two options: Local (St. Louis)  & Online
Presented by Rose F. Holt. M.A., Jungian Analyst

Reading: C. G. Jung, Dreams [A compilation of writings from Jung’s COLLECTED WORKS.] Bollingen Press, 2010. Available in paperback on

This study group is oriented to those seeking a better understanding of the role of dreams in personality development, in their service as mirror for ego consciousness, and in the unfolding process of individuation.

 [For people interested in the group but feel they lack a familiarity with basic Jungian theory, we recommend reviewing two videos: Rose Holt: “An Overview of Jungian Psychology & its Value for Today,” and Ken James: “Complexes, Archetypes & the Transcendent Function.” Both are available through the Society’s website at or by calling (314) 533-6809]

For those interested in this study group but find the local meeting time or place inconvenient, this same course is also offered online.

Local Study Group [14 CEUs available] - 7 Sundays; 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. February 3, 10, 17 / March 3, 10, 17, 24
Jung Society Friends: $110 / Others: $130 (14 CEUs)
Class limit of 12 at First Congregational Church UCC
6501 Wydown, Clayton, MO 63105
This group meets in a seminar format for seven sessions.

Online Study Group [14 CEUs available] - 7 Mondays; 7:30 - 9:00 p.m. February 4, 11, 18 / March 4, 11, 18, 25
Jung Society Friends :  $105 / Others: $125 (14 CEUs)
Class limit of 10. We will meet in seven (7) web-hosted seminars for real-time interaction between the presenter and participants. [For our live video conferences, participants will need a computer, a webcam, and a fast internet connection.]]

 Rose Holt is a Jungian analyst in private practice in St. Louis. She serves as advisory analyst to the C.G. Jung Society of St. Louis and is on the faculty of the Chicago Analyst Training Program. She has taught numerous courses and has authored a number of essays on topics in Jungian Psychology.

Register/pay online or by mail using our printable Registration Form available on the C.G. Jung Society of St. Louis website at

For additional information, please e-mail Rose Holt at or call her at (314) 726-2032.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012


The C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis has a number of fine presentations on topics in Jungian Psychology available for purchase either for streaming from the internet or in dvd format at

To see trailers of the presentations, click the link(s) below:

Ken James:
Rose Holt:
Leah Friedman:
Jonathan Young:
Lionel Corbett1:
Lionel Corbett2:
Richard Bosnak:
Laurence Hillman:
Portals conference trailer:

For additional information or to purchase, go to